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[Page 259]

The House of Szalom Asz in Bat Yam

Translated from the Yiddish by Carole Turkeltaub Borowitz

Although, in the year 1995 Szalom Asz was determined to settle in Israel, he had not decided which place he would live in. The current mayor of the amazingly growing town, Bat Yam, David Ben-Ari, invited him. The great author was invited to this fine town, with its splendid Mediterranean coast, to build, as he wished, the most up to date and best home. After the death of Szalom Asz this house, with its entire contents, pictures and antique collections, was given by Mrs. Asz to the municipality of Bat-Yam, to be used as an Asz museum and cultural centre – Szalom Asz's House.


House of Szalom Asz in Bat Yam


A collection of personalities stand at the head of the initiators of Szalom Asz's house and Szalom Asz in Bat-Yam, with David Ben-Ari, as director.

In the house, all has remained unchanged – the salon with the valuable paintings' collection by famous artists; Chanukah lamps and other Jewish antiquities, also a bust of Szalom Asz, created by Jakob Epsztajn; Szalom Asz's work room with his famous work table, pens, glasses, pictures and diplomas. There the collected works of Szalom Asz can be found, note books, documents, photographs, books from his library and various works in several languages, press cuttings (about Szalom Asz and his works), antiques from Szalom Asz's collection which were recent gifts to the house. Szalom Asz's Scroll of the Law, childhood works by him, books from a collection “Szalom Asz in the Theatre”, and so on.

Friends of Szalom Asz's house from all over the world constantly send material to enrich the house. The most valuable items were sent by YIVO [Yiddish Research Organisation] in New York, IKUF [Yiddish Cultural Association] in New York, “Congress for Jewish Culture” in New York, Mark Turko from Argentina, Majlech Rawicz (from Montreal, Canada), Nachman Majzel (of blessed memory).

People come often to Szalom Asz's house for courses, cultural events held together with the municipality, which often is the real cultural centre for Bat-Yam and an art centre for visitors from all over and tourists. In the visitor's book you can find many thousand signatures and also dedications in many languages from tourists from the four corners of the world, from all continents.

Szalom Asz's house, serving as a town museum, requires a larger building next door, for concerts, lectures, cultural events and exhibitions. The corner stone was already laid years ago. The plans were completed but the building work has not yet happened. There is no money.

The program of school children's outings to Szalom Asz's house developed very well, which was very important for increasing the popularity of the name of the famous writer Szalom Asz and his work. The visitor receives an education about Szalom Asz and his life and creativity from the director of Szalom Asz's house, Icchak Turkow.


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